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Apr 08

Apache Beehive PageFlows vs. Spring WebFlow

Java, Lightweight Containers, Open Source, Tech, Web Frameworks Add comments

Way back in time I worked on early releases of BEA’s Portal server. At the time they had their own MVC framework webflow, and it was a little painful to use (Remember the Rational ROSE tools for the Commerce product?).

However, that was many many years ago, and it has gotten better each release.

Now a lot of the same learning, is in place with Apache Beehive NetUI and PageFlows frameworks.

The Spring guys came out with a WebFlow component, which covers some of the same ground. How do they compare? At a high level their pro’s are:

Spring WebFlow:

WebFlow, although immature, does have an interesting goal in that it works on top of ANY web framework, and isn

5 Responses to “Apache Beehive PageFlows vs. Spring WebFlow”

  1. Keith Says:


    Speaking on behalf of the Spring Web Flow Team:

    - Spring Web Flow is immature in the sense we’ve only released a preview relase to this point (PR2 will be 4/11). However, the offering is quite mature in terms of feature-set, and in terms of quality on a united code, doc, and test front (as those who have reviewed it will attest to.)

    - We don’t speculate on stuff thats not reality. It’s a honest-to-good fact Spring web flow’s core has no dependencies on any one web MVC framework. It’s a fact we already provide Spring MVC and Struts integration, as well as Portlet integration. We don’t speculate about what we feel, we speak facts backed up by working code.

    I agree – BEA and Beehive have expressed keen interest working with us after at TSSJS and we look forward to seeing the best of both worlds emerge. It’s in everyone’s best interest to provide _the best solution_, and that’s our goal here.



  2. Keith Says:

    I forgot to mention: Spring Web Flow is used to power applications today at several large companies (notably a major bank and another large entertainment company.) It definitely didn’t just appear out of nowhere, and that’s a major reason why the feature-set is already so mature.

  3. Rich Feit Says:

    Speaking from the Beehive perspective (but not for BEA :))… being built on Struts has been *mostly* a great blessing.

    When we began work on Page Flow (mid-2001, long before Beehive became open source), Struts was just coming to prominence, and it made sense to leverage it (we started out with our own top-to-bottom MVC framework, but came to our senses and removed the whole tier that overlapped with Struts). This worked out smashingly — over the years, we got to take advantage of all the work that was being put into Struts, while staying focused on adding an annotation-based and flow-centered (and highly-toolable) approach.

    That was before the explosion of web frameworks. Lately, being built on top of another piece of software seems to affront the whole ‘light’ ethic. Rather than building on each other or fading away, frameworks are integrating with each other and becoming more focused, and people are getting the chance to combine them for their different strengths. IMO this is a good thing. In this particular space there’s a trend towards higher-level page flow abstractions — thinking of entire flows as reusable units, and centralizing the controller logic/metadata/state (e.g., some of what Shale is starting to do in the JSF world). It’ll be very interesting to see how the pieces fit together and where we all end up.

  4. kiko Says:


  5. Dj Says:

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